Music plays as the girls spin on their toes and the counts are spoken clearly for dancers to hit their marks. Laughter and silly talks fill the air in Lorna Badon’s dance studio – a second home for many students, and a place of safety and security.
This studio, full of dreams, hopes and ambitions, has housed hundreds of dancers over the years and it is without a doubt that what made this dance studio such a comforting place to so many young girls was the lady behind it – Lorna Badon herself, known affectionately as “Mrs. Lorna.”
Those who knew her, and especially those who were instructed by Badon for many years, were devastated last week to learn of her passing. She owned the dance studio for over 20 years and was also a very well-known figure in the community.
According to junior Kami Foskey, Badon was not only their dance teacher, but also their friend and second mom.
“She taught us countless things, but overall she had such a great ability to be caring, patient, and forgiving,” Foskey said. “She always put us first, she was so patient and understanding of each of her dancers, and was always forgiving and loving.”
Badon was well known for her laugh and her encouragement to her dancers. Senior Rebecca Sanford said something she will miss the most about Badon is her contagious laugh.
“I will miss the way her eyes got big when they (other dancers) talked back to her or complained,” Sanford said.
Senior Sophie Braud also took lessons from Badon for 16 years and was greatly influenced by her.
“I will miss taking silly pictures together, watching her smile when I would do perfect fouttes, laughing together, hearing her say ‘I’m just sayin,’” Braud said. “I will also miss not being able to hear her voice in a dance class anymore, going up to the studio to work on my solos, and so much more.”
According to Foskey, when the girls were mad at Badon, she would say, “come sit on my lap and tell me you love me.”
Along with a playful spirit, Badon also inspired her students while teaching them life lessons that they will remember forever.
“She taught me [that] no matter how much you have going on, fight through it and never give up,” Braud said. “Dance from your heart.”